The possessor of one of reggae's most striking voices, with its superb falsetto, Horace Andy (born Horace Hinds) hit his first peak in the 1970s -- the second would come two decades later, after his rediscovery by Massive Attack. While probably best known for "Skylarking," that was only one of many of his Jamaican hits during a decade that saw him go from strength to strength, and achieve a reputation that made him a reggae star in England, too. It's hard to argue with the cuts on this excellent mid-price compilation, whether from his own pen, or covers of Bob Marley's "Natural Mystic" or veering soulward on Ashford and Simpson's "Something on My Mind" and Bill Withers' classic "Ain't No Sunshine." He recorded at most of Kingston's top studios, and this spans his work for Studio One, Channel One, and the others (although "Don't Think About Me," the excellent hit he made with producer Keith Hudson, isn't included here). Although he didn't wear dreadlocks, he was a very conscious artist, as reflected on several of his albums, and "Collie Weed" (a.k.a. "Collie Herb") from In the Light is quite representative of his more militant edge. 1974's "Money Money" came from his work with Bunny Lee, and again offers a striking lyrical lesson. But "Skylarking," that first 1972 hit of his with Clement Dodd and Studio One in 1972, remains a reggae classic that stands the time. Music Club isn't lying when they advertise "16 Massive Cuts" here -- it's just a shame it's not the 20 of the British version.
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AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson